Making Wool Cool Again In London

London’s exclusive Ivy Club saw a celebration of wool this week with The Woolmark Company’s breakfast in honour of the versatile material. The event forms part of the Cool Wool campaign, intended to showcase wool as a versatile fibre suitable for all seasons.

The breakfast, which was held by designers Lou Dalton and Holly Fulton, as well as fashion writer Colin McDowell and Lindsay Taylor of the wool merchants Holland & Sherry Group, were particularly keen to showcase the adaptability of merino wool. “I think the male consumer, they don’t tend to buy seasonally any more, they want something that will be a transitional product,” said Dalton to WWD. “[Merino wool is] breathable, it retains the heat and it’s also a great product to wear.” Fulton, who has used this type of wool for evening wear for her spring 2015 collection additionally said that it “gives you an amazing drape, and the natural coil of it means it springs back, so it doesn’t crease as much…it allows you a certain amount of creative freedom, particularly if you’re draping with it. It retains the shapes that you want to achieve quite well.”

The event also highlighted the increased flexibility of the wool mills, which are increasingly becoming more adaptable in order to work with designers and incorporate the fabric into their collections. “Things have changed and the mills have become more flexible,” said Taylor of Holland & Sherry Group to WWD. “We have designers that come and say, ‘We want X, Y and Z,’ and we’ll say, ‘Yes, we’ll see what we can do for you.’ We would like to help because we’d like your business. We would like to think it’s a partnership.” The creatives also discussed the importance of wool and its origins in international markets such as China and India.